Saturday, July 27, 2013

Philosophy Weekend: News from Philosophy in Action

By Diana Hsieh

Every Saturday, I post the news of the week from my primary work, Philosophy in Action, where I apply rational principles to the challenges of real life. Here's this week's update.

Upcoming Radio Shows


Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts live over the internet on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. Below are the episodes upcoming this week. I hope that you join us! More upcoming episodes can be found here: Episodes on Tap.

Sunday Morning, 28 July 2013: Q&A on Social Contract, Excusing Wrongs, President Obama, and More

I'll answer these four questions on the live broadcast of Philosophy in Action Radio on Sunday morning, 28 July 2013.
  • Question 1: Social Contract Theory: Is a "social contract" the proper basis for government? The idea of a "social contract" is often used to justify all kinds of government interventions for the so-called "greater good." What does it mean to say that society is founded on a social contract? What are the practical implications of that approach to politics? Was John Locke a proponent of this view?
  • Question 2: Romanticizing Historical Figures in Art: Are there moral limits to romanticizing historical figures in art? For example, a writer might romanticize Robin Hood as the Ragnar Danneskjöld of the Middle Ages. If this is proper, is there an ethical limit as to what kinds of persons one may or may not romanticize, or as to how far one may stretch the historic truth? For example, does it matter if there are still contemporaries of that historic person alive who suffered unjustly because of him? Would it be wrong to ignore some unpleasant facts in order to present a fictionalized heroic character?
  • Question 3: Mental Illness as an Excuse for Wrongdoing: Does mental illness excuse wrong behavior? Recently, a friend of mine apologized for making hurtful and unfair comments to me. (It's not the first time she's done that.) She said that she's been struggling with depression, and she's now on anti-depressants and in therapy. I'm not sure how to take that. I feel for her, yet I also feel like I'm being manipulated into overlooking her bad behavior because she's "sick." How should struggles with mental illness figure into explanations and apologies for wrong behavior – if at all?
  • Question 4: Fervent Hatred for President Obama: How should I respond to friends who fanatically hate President Obama? As a free-market advocate, I'm distressed about President Obama's policies. However, I'm increasingly worried about some of my friends in the free-market movement exhibiting an alarming level of hatred for President Obama. I have seen my friends latch on to every "juicy"-sounding accusation against the President, which they spread all over Facebook, such as spurious claims that the administration violently threatened Bob Woodward, or that the President conspires to grant himself a third term. I think a reasonable discourse on Obama's faults is necessary, but the conspiracy theories and outright hatred cloud people's judgments. I want to ask my pro-free-market, Obama-hating friends that they not bring up their dubious accusations in conversation, but I don't know how to do that without offending them. Is there a solution to this dilemma?
The live broadcast begins at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 28 July 2013. The podcast will be posted later that day. For more details, check out the episode page.

Wednesday Evening, 31 July 2013: Eric Daniels on "Why Big Government Isn't the Problem"

I'll interview historian Eric Daniels about "Why Big Government Isn't the Problem" on the live broadcast of Philosophy in Action Radio on Wednesday evening, 31 July 2013.

Is "big government" the fundamental problem of American politics? Historian Eric Daniels will explain why this common formulation is misleading, wrong, and even dangerous to liberty.

Dr. Eric Daniels is a research assistant professor at Clemson University's Institute for the Study of Capitalism. He has a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Wisconsin.

The live broadcast begins at 6 pm PT / 7 MT / 8 CT / 9 ET on Wednesday, 31 July 2013. The podcast will be posted later that evening. For more details, check out the episode page.


Recent Podcasts


The podcasts of last week's radio shows are now available. Check out the full collection of past radio shows in the archives, sorted by date or by topic. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast RSS feed too.

21 July 2013: Q&A on Marginal Humans, Wanting Sex, Polite Homophobes, and More

I answered these questions on Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio:

What's wrong with the 'marginal humans' argument against uniquely human rights? Is it wrong to have sex when you're not in the mood? How should I respond to people who think that homosexuality is an immoral or neurotic choice?

You can listen to or download the podcast below, and visit the episode's page for more, including audio files for individual questions.

24 July 2013: Jonathan Hoenig on "The Workings of Financial Markets"

I interviewed hedge fund trader Jonathan Hoenig about "The Workings of Financial Markets" on Wednesday's Philosophy in Action Radio:

"Financial markets are often vilified – and misunderstood. How do financial markets work? What impact do they have on the economy? Are they dangerous – or beneficial? What is the government's current versus proper role in financial markets?" Jonathan Hoenig is portfolio manager at Capitalistpig Hedge Fund LLC. He appears regularly on Fox News.

You can listen to or download the podcast below, and visit the episode's page for more.

Recent Blog Posts


Here are last week's posts to Philosophy in Action's blog NoodleFood, ordered from oldest to newest. Don't miss a post: subscribe to NoodleFood's RSS Feed.
If you're interested in more from Philosophy in Action, be sure to like our Facebook Page and subscribe to our Newsletter!

Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedsPhilosophy in Action's Calendar

Read more...

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Paleo Rodeo #172

By Diana Hsieh

Welcome to this week's edition of The Paleo Rodeo!

The Paleo Rodeo is a weekly blog carnival featuring the best paleo-related posts by members of the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. The past editions of the Rodeo are collected on this page.

What is "paleo"? As I say in Modern Paleo Principles:

A "paleo" approach to health uses the evolutionary history of homo sapiens, plus the best of modern science, as a broad framework for guiding daily choices about diet, fitness, medicine, and supplementation. The core of paleo is the diet: it eschews grains, sugars, and modern vegetable oils in favor of high-quality meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables.
The purpose of The Paleo Rodeo is to highlight some of the best blogging of the ever-growing paleosphere.

Here is this week's edition:
Laura P presents My Favorite Fermented Foods posted at Rising Moon Food, saying, "Fermenting foods is just about the best way to prepare or preserve food. Here I give you my favorite fermented foods, including why you should eat them and some recipes!"

Kris Gunnars presents 7 Ways The Low-Fat Diet Destroys Your Health posted at Authority Nutrition, saying, "The conventional low-fat diet has not only been proven to be useless, but many studies show that it can be downright harmful for a lot of people."

Salixisme presents Stuffed Pork Chops and Roasted Onions posted at Salixisme, saying, "This is a recipe for pork chops stuffed with a fruity, nutty filling, cooked on the BBQ. Served a side of roasted green onions (very large ones!) also cooked on the BBQ."

Nell Stephenson presents Plant-Based Versus Paleo: What’s the Diff? posted at Paleoista, by Nell Stephenson, LLC, saying, "Paleo expert Nell Stephenson compares the concept of plant-based to paleo diets."

Neely Quinn presents 11 Quick and Easy Paleo Snack Ideas posted at Paleo Plan, saying, "These are my favorite Paleo snack ideas - I eat at least one of these things every day because they're so easy and delicious."

Meghan Little and Angel Ayala Torres presents Paleo Brussel Sprouts with Cranberries, Bacon and Caramelized Onions posted at Paleo Effect, saying, "This recipe fast, easy and delicious. Perfect for a rainy night when you want something warm and hearty. The cranberries give a pop of sweetness, which nicely contrasts the earthy brussel sprouts. Vegan? No worries, just omit the bacon!"

Eileen Laird presents Kombucha Berry Popsicles posted at Phoenix Helix, saying, "Kombucha provides healing probiotics and beneficial acids. The berries are packed with antioxidants. Added bonus? They’re easy to make and taste sooooo good. Plus, I put together a Paleo Popsicle Roundup, linking to 10 other healthy recipes from around the web."

Eileen Laird presents The Most Nutrient-Dense Fruits and Vegetables posted at Phoenix Helix, saying, "Want to know which onion has 120 times more antioxidants than the rest? Which fruit has 10 times more nutrition than most vegetables? Which vegetables lose half their nutrition within 2 days of picking and how to slow that process down? Jo Robinson, author of the book 'Eating on the Wild Side", offers 20 free tips to make your next grocery shopping trip the most nutritious yet."

Melissa,a.k.a. Cavechic presents Elk pemmican is coming! posted at Paleo Connections, saying, "Just a little update on future elk pemmican."

Amy Kubal presents The Shelves Overfloweth With New Paleo Reading (And Cooking) Material… posted at Robb Wolf, saying, "It seems like everyone in the Paleosphere is writing a book! Get the dirt on the latest and greatest Paleo/Primal book releases here."

Mary Catherine presents Nourish Paleo Foods posted at Smack! Five Food Prep Tips So Simple I Can't Believe I Didn't Know, saying, "Here are five food prep tips that have rocked my kitchen lately."

Diane Sanfilippo presents Troubleshooting Your Digestive Issues: Specific Recommendations for Constipation and Diarrhea (part 3) posted at Balanced Bites, saying, "In Part 3 of this series, I’ll provide some additional tips that are specific for easing both constipation and diarrhea."

Rebekah Reddy presents Mashed Cauliflower posted at Half Indian Cook, saying, "This post includes a simple recipe for mashed cauliflower, something my kids love and a great way to include more vegetables into anyone's diet."

Kevin Geary presents The #1 Weight Loss Crisis That's Actually Meaningless posted at The Rebooted Body, saying, "This is probably one of the biggest 'crises" in health and fitness and a topic that readers and listeners ask me questions on ALL the time. So I've address this crisis in a full article."
Many thanks to the PaleoBloggers who submitted to this edition of the The Paleo Rodeo! We love new members! So if you blog on paleo-related matters and you'd like to submit your posts to the carnival, please subscribe to the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. You'll receive instructions and reminders via that list.

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Philosophy Weekend: News from Philosophy in Action

By Diana Hsieh

Every Saturday, I post the news of the week from my primary work, Philosophy in Action, where I apply rational principles to the challenges of real life. Here's this week's update.

Upcoming Radio Shows


Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts live over the internet on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. Below are the episodes upcoming this week. I hope that you join us! More upcoming episodes can be found here: Episodes on Tap.

Sunday Morning, 21 July 2013: Q&A on Marginal Humans, Wanting Sex, Polite Homophobes, and More

I'll answer these four questions on the live broadcast of Philosophy in Action Radio on Sunday morning, 21 July 2013.
  • Question 1: The "Marginal Humans" Argument: What's wrong with the "marginal humans" argument against uniquely human rights? Ayn Rand, following Aristotle, defined man as the rational animal – meaning that man's essential quality is that he possesses the faculty of reason, while other animals do not. Such is the basis for rights, in her view. Opponents of animal rights often appeal to this gap between humans and other animals to justify raising animals to be killed and eaten. They claim that animals can't have rights because they're not rational. Advocates of animal rights, however, often attempt to refute this claim via the "marginal humans" argument. They observe that human infants lack the faculty of reason, and hence, we should not use rationality as the moral criterion for rights. What is wrong with this argument? Do opponents of animal rights conflate potential with actual rationality, in that the infant seems potentially but not actually capable of reason?
  • Question 2: Sex When Not in the Mood: Is it wrong to have sex when you're not in the mood? Assume that you're in a long-term romantic relationship with another person. You will not always going to feel the desire to have sex. If your lover wants sex, is it wrong to do so? Might you have sex anyway, perhaps because you want to do something nice for your lover – perhaps in the hope that your lover might do the same for you later? Many people seem uncomfortable with sex under those circumstances, i.e. absent a strong physical desire. Some claim that if you're truly in love, then your physical desires will fall into line. Hence, if you don't want to have sex, you might not really be in love – or you might have other philosophical or psychological problems. Others think that having sex even if not in the mood isn't right: it's degrading and might lead to resentment. Which of these views is right?
  • Question 3: Responding to Polite Homophobes: How should I respond to people who think that homosexuality is an immoral or neurotic choice? I'm straight, but I have many gay friends. From years of experience, I know that they're virtuous and rational people. Moreover, their romantic relationships are not fundamentally different from mine. Also, I'm a strong believer in gay rights, including gay marriage. So what should I do when confronted with seemingly decent people who think that homosexuality is an immoral choice, based in neurosis, or otherwise unhealthy? These people often present their ideas in polite and seemingly respectable ways; they're not just flaming bigots. Yet still I find them appalling, particularly when used to justify denying rights to gays. Should I be more tolerant of such views? How should I express my disagreement?
  • Question 4: Romanticizing Historical Figures in Art: Are there moral limits to romanticizing historical figures in art? For example, a writer might romanticize Robin Hood as the Ragnar Danneskjöld of the Middle Ages. If this is proper, is there an ethical limit as to what kinds of persons one may or may not romanticize, or as to how far one may stretch the historic truth? For example, does it matter if there are still contemporaries of that historic person alive who suffered unjustly because of them? Would it be wrong to ignore the unpleasant facts in order to present a fictionalized heroic character?
The live broadcast begins at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 21 July 2013. The podcast will be posted later that day. For more details, check out the episode page.

Wednesday Evening, 24 July 2013: Jonathan Hoenig on "Common Fallacies about Financial Markets"

I'll interview hedge fund trader Jonathan Hoenig about "Common Fallacies about Financial Markets" on the live broadcast of Philosophy in Action Radio on Wednesday evening, 24 July 2013.

Financial markets are often villified – and misunderstood. How do financial markets work? What impact do they have on the economy? Are they dangerous – or beneficial? Jonathan Hoenig will explain away common myths and fallacies about financial markets.

Jonathan Hoenig is portfolio manager at Capitalistpig Hedge Fund LLC. He appears regularly on Fox News.

The live broadcast begins at 6 pm PT / 7 MT / 8 CT / 9 ET on Wednesday, 24 July 2013. The podcast will be posted later that evening. For more details, check out the episode page.


Recent Podcasts


The podcasts of last week's radio shows are now available. Check out the full collection of past radio shows in the archives, sorted by date or by topic. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast RSS feed too.

14 July 2013: Q&A on Feminism, Jailbreaking, Racism, Color, and More

I answered these questions on Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio:

How should the feminist movement be judged? Is it morally wrong to 'root' or 'jailbreak' your own electronic devices? Can a person be a racist yet still a morally decent person? Are concepts of color objective?

You can listen to or download the podcast below, and visit the episode's page for more, including audio files for individual questions.

17 July 2013: Scott Powell on "History is Dead, Long Live History"

I interviewed historian Scott Powell about "History is Dead, Long Live History" on Wednesday's Philosophy in Action Radio:

"Why is knowledge of history important? How have historians failed to teach it? What's the proper approach? How can adults educate themselves about history?" Scott Powell is the creator of Powell History and "A First History for Adults." He is a permanent traveler who teaches a distance learning homeschooling history program called "History At Our House" that provides an integrated curriculum for children from 2nd to 12th grade all over the world. He is currently writing his first book, History is Dead, Long Live History.

You can listen to or download the podcast below, and visit the episode's page for more.

Recent Blog Posts


Here are last week's posts to Philosophy in Action's blog NoodleFood, ordered from oldest to newest. Don't miss a post: subscribe to NoodleFood's RSS Feed.
If you're interested in more from Philosophy in Action, be sure to like our Facebook Page and subscribe to our Newsletter!

Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedsPhilosophy in Action's Calendar

Read more...

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Paleo Rodeo #171

By Diana Hsieh

Welcome to this week's edition of The Paleo Rodeo!

The Paleo Rodeo is a weekly blog carnival featuring the best paleo-related posts by members of the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. The past editions of the Rodeo are collected on this page.

What is "paleo"? As I say in Modern Paleo Principles:

A "paleo" approach to health uses the evolutionary history of homo sapiens, plus the best of modern science, as a broad framework for guiding daily choices about diet, fitness, medicine, and supplementation. The core of paleo is the diet: it eschews grains, sugars, and modern vegetable oils in favor of high-quality meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables.
The purpose of The Paleo Rodeo is to highlight some of the best blogging of the ever-growing paleosphere.

Here is this week's edition:
Neely Quinn presents How Do I Start Paleo if I Binge on Sweets Every Day? posted at Paleo Plan, saying, "Here’s a question that you may be able to relate with…'"I binge eat on sweets daily and really want to start the Paleo diet. I would really appreciate any tips or insights you have that could help me conquer the binge eating of sweets.""."

Nell Stephenson presents Are You “Paleo” and Still Not Seeing the Clear Skin You Want? posted at Paleoista, by Nell Stephenson, LLC, saying, "Paleo expert Nell Stephenson writes about why some might not be seeing the skin results they want after going Paleo."

Sabine presents Bali Bumbu posted at Cave Food Kitchen, saying, "A must-make for anyone that loves Indonesian food and want to spice things up!"

Patrick Clark presents The Lazy Paleo--one week menu and grocery list, recipes posted at Paleo All The Way, saying, "I have developed an unusual version of the paleo diet that can be done completely raw and still be extremely interesting and delicious. It may not be for everybody, but this is at least an example of the flexibility and uniqueness of the paleo approach."

Kris Gunnars presents 6 Reasons Why I do Not Trust The Mainstream Health Authorities posted at Authority Nutrition, saying, "Some of the largest health organizations are heavily funded by big food and drug companies. They base many of their recommendations on outdated science."

Meghan Little and Angel Ayala Torres presents Paleo Melon Avocado Salsa, A Refreshing Vegan Side posted at Paleo Effect, saying, "This salsa is light and refreshing, with just a hint of sweet honeydew melon. Try it over a juicy skirt steak or atop our Tostones for a Vegan appetizer!"

Kevin Geary presents Health and Fitness Success Triangle: IQ, EQ, and PQ posted at The Rebooted Body, saying, "Are you looking to create a new lifestyle around fit and healthy? Congratulations, so is the rest of the world. And if you’re anything like them, you shouldn’t expect much in the way of success (unless you understand the success triangle)."

Eileen Laird presents Grilled Sweetbreads with Balsamic Glaze posted at Phoenix Helix, saying, "Our Organ Love series continues with a simple and delicious recipe for Grilled Sweetbreads. Curious what they are? Click through to learn more."

Eileen Laird presents Sunshine Medicine posted at Phoenix Helix, saying, "Sunshine is vital to our physical and mental health, and although Vitamin D3 supplements are all the rage, they're a poor substitute. Learn why."

Hadass Eviatar presents Why Being a Sitting Duck Will Kill You posted at My Coat of Many Colours, saying, "Nowadays, we spend far too much time sitting, especially those of us who work at home behind a screen. Here is why it is so bad for us, and some ideas of what we can do about it."

Paul Jaminet presents Omega-3 Fats and Cancer posted at Perfect Health Diet, saying, "We look at the recent study linking omega-3 fats to an increased risk of prostate cancer."

Diana Hsieh presents Increase Your Self-Control posted at NoodleFood, saying, "When your self-control is running a bit low – as mine tends to do with food – here's a technique you can use to shore it up."

Sean Coonce presents Cajun Smoked Chicken posted at FreeRange Human, saying, "Whole chicken cooked on a smoker. Perfect for summertime backyard BBQ's."

Diane Sanfilippo presents Troubleshooting Your Digestive Issues: How To Improve Overall Digestion Function (part 2) posted at Balanced Bites, saying, "In Part 1 of Troubleshooting Your Digestive Issues, I covered some signs and symptoms (diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas, etc.) and potential causes of disrupted digestion and why it’s important to address these issues right away. Improving digestive function is the first step to calming systemic inflammation. In Part 2, I’ll provide some general tips for the most common signs and symptoms."

Diane Sanfilippo presents Easy Recipe: Sweet and Sour Gummy Gelatin Snacks posted at Balanced Bites, saying, "I used to be pretty obsessed with gummy candies, and recently I’ve discovered that I can not only re-create an old favorite of mine, but I can make something that’s actually extremely health promoting."

Rebekah Reddy presents Testimonial: Gaining Health Through the 21DSD posted at The 21-Day Sugar Detox, saying, "In this week's testimonial, Kate Johnson of Eat, Recycle, Repeat explains how she gained health during the 21-Day Sugar Detox by figuring out how many and which kinds of carbs to consume."

Rebekah Reddy presents Indian-spiced Cauliflower Frittata posted at Half Indian Cook, saying, "This Indian-spiced frittata combines the spicy, nutty sweetness of cauliflower with the creamy fluffiness of eggs."
Many thanks to the PaleoBloggers who submitted to this edition of the The Paleo Rodeo! We love new members! So if you blog on paleo-related matters and you'd like to submit your posts to the carnival, please subscribe to the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. You'll receive instructions and reminders via that list.

Read more...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

One Solution to the Problem with Self-Control

By Diana Hsieh

As you might have noticed, I answered a question about cultivating powers of self-control on the 23 June 2013 episode of Philosophy in Action Radio.

In that discussion, I mentioned that one strategy for increasing self-control is to set clear standards for success and failure, perhaps even with artificial rewards and punishments for oneself. For example, if Paul and I go out to a movie, sometimes I don't wish to eat any of his popcorn. In that case, I'll agree to pay him $20 if I eat any of his popcorn. (He's not allowed to tempt me; that would be unfair.) I've never paid him that $20, simply because the prospect of doing so is sufficient incentive. I'm motivated not merely by the loss of $20, but also by the shame of so clearly giving in to temptation and thereby doing something that I know isn't good for me. Plus, he'd never let me live it down!

As I mentioned in the broadcast, my friend Trey Givens used that same strategy last winter to help himself to clean up his diet and start working out. At some point, I'd tweeted him, "I have a solution to your lack of discipline! Send me $20 for every pound you gain or every week that you don't workout!" He came up with a better plan, as explained in this blog post:

So, here's what I'll do: I will donate $20 for each week that I don't work out AND I will donate $20 for each week that I don't stick with The Whole 30. So, it's possible that I could end up donating $40 in a week. I'll donate it to Diana's Philosophy in Action webcast. This also supports another personal goal of mine which is to give more monetary support to Objectivism this year.

Shortly thereafter, he modified the deal as follows:

OK. After thinking about it a bit more, I want to modify the deal for donating dollars to Philosophy in Action based on how well I stick to my diet and exercise plan.

I will donate $20 to PiA for every week in January that I do not work out at least 3 times.
I will donate $20 to PiA for every meal in January in which I deliberately break The Whole 30 rules.
I'm changing it because I think the previous arrangement was a bit too generous in leaving room for "error." Like, if I ate a piece of candy today, I don't want to find myself rationalizing into eating ice-cream for the rest of the week. And working out once a week is for the fat lady I am, not the fat lady I want to be; my goal is 3x a week at a minimum and so that's why that's the goal.

So, with these changes, it actually could end up that I owe Diana a zillion dollars at the end of a given week. I'm pretty sure I have enough self-control to avoid that, but in the event that I don't, I will also change my name to "Congress."

That's definitely a better deal for Trey: the more fine-grained and specific that you can get with these artificial rewards and punishments the better.

So how did this experiment work? Pretty well, I think, particularly given the demands of the Whole 30. Still, I can't help but laugh:

Well, it is finally over. And it is difficult for me to express exactly how glad not to be worrying over The Whole 30 any more.

I suppose the worrying part is my own fault, since for the month of January I could probably count on two hands the number of mornings that I woke without a vivid memory of a dream in which I ate something bad and worried about paying Diana $20 for the infraction. Clearly, my subconscious is far more concerned about financial matters than my physical well-being. So, how did I end up doing?

Well, I paid Diana a total of $80 this month.

Half of it was due to a week in which I was on a business trip and only worked out once. 2 missed workouts * $20 = $40.

On that same business trip, I was at a restaurant with my boss's boss for dinner and I ordered what appeared to be a "safe" meal and explained to the waitress that I absolutely could not have diary. First, she came back with a plate sprinkled with cheese, so I sent it back. When she returned to the kitchen she explained that what I had ordered actually also included butter. So, I had a choice: change my order completely and be the awkward person sitting at the table without food or just suck it up and pay Diana $20 for having eaten some butter. Not being able to think of a delicate way to avoid the awkwardness, I decided to just pay up.

The second infraction happened just this past Saturday. I was at Costco and they have all these samples out and one of the displays caught my eye. It was some stuffed grape leaves and the package said it was dairy free and gluten free. I checked the label and the only thing that jumped out at me was that there is a bit of canola oil. I didn't spot any cheese or sausage or wheat, so it must be OK, right? I tried it and it was pretty tasty. It wasn't until last night that I was reflecting on this and realized I had just eaten a mouthful of RICE, a grain. So, this morning, I paid Diana another $20, but I have a package of those grape leaves in my freezer and I am very excited about eating them at some point in February.

You can check out his blog post for details on his ten-pound weight loss, plus before and after pictures. Really, $80 isn't a bad price for a radical change in lifestyle!

Of course, I think that this is an excellent idea, and I encourage all of you to make use of it! Certainly, you're welcome to use Philosophy in Action's Tip Jar as your motivator. You definitely want to write down the rules -- and better yet, share them with someone. You're welcome to share them with me too. Basically, you need some kind of accountabilibuddy.

Oh, and in case you've not yet heard it, you can listen to or download the segment of the podcast on self-control here:

For more details, check out the question's archive page. The full episode -- where I answered questions on lying for the sake of a happy surprise, people too young to raise children, and more -- is available as a podcast too.

Read more...

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Philosophy Weekend: News from Philosophy in Action

By Diana Hsieh

Every Saturday, I post the news of the week from my primary work, Philosophy in Action, where I apply rational principles to the challenges of real life. Here's this week's update.

Upcoming Radio Shows


Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts live over the internet on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. Below are the episodes upcoming this week. I hope that you join us! More upcoming episodes can be found here: Episodes on Tap.

Sunday Morning, 14 July 2013: Q&A on Feminism, Jailbreaking, Racism, Color, and More

I'll answer these four questions on the live broadcast of Philosophy in Action Radio on Sunday morning, 14 July 2013.
  • Question 1: Today's Feminist Movement: How should the feminist movement be judged? Do today's feminist causes have any merit? Or is the feminist movement merely seeking special favors for women at the expense of men – perhaps even via violations of the rights of men? If the movement is mixed, how should it be judged, overall? Should better feminists eschew the movement due to its flaws – or attempt to change it from within? Can advocates of reason, egoism, and capitalism ally themselves with selected feminist causes without promoting the worse elements thereof?
  • Question 2: The Morality of Jailbreaking: Is it morally wrong to 'root' or 'jailbreak' your own electronic devices? Maybe I'm just too stupid or lazy to read through all the legal-ese that comes with these devices, so I don't know whether technically a customer is contractually obligated not to do it. But I know that companies try to design their products so that people can't easily "root" or "jailbreak" them, and clever people find ways to do it. Is doing so a theft of intellectual property?
  • Question 3: Racism Versus Moral Decency: Can a person be a racist yet still a morally decent person? Paula Deen has been in hot water – with her shows and sponsorships cancelled – because of allegedly racist comments that she admitted to making in a deposition. (The lawsuit was brought by Lisa Jackson – a former manager of a restaurant owned by her and her brother. Ms. Jackson alleges sexual harassment and tolerance of racial slurs at the restaurant.) Based on Ms. Deen's admissions in the deposition, is she racist? If so, can she still be a moral person? Do matters of race trump all other moral convictions?
  • Question 4: The Objectivity of Color Concepts: Are concepts of color objective? Given that people from different cultures conceptualize colors differently, I don't see how concepts of color – or at least the demarcation of colors – can be objective. For example, in English, the colors "green" and "blue" have different names because they refer to different concepts. In Japanese, however, the word "aoi" can refer to either light green or blue: they don't draw a distinction between them. Similarly, English speakers refer to both the sky and a sapphire as "blue." But in Italian this is not the case: the word "blu" only refers to dark blue, and the sky is the distinct color of "azzuro." Do such cultural differences cast doubt on the claim that concepts of color are objective?
The live broadcast begins at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 14 July 2013. The podcast will be posted later that day. For more details, check out the episode page.

Wednesday Evening, 17 July 2013: Scott Powell on "Studying History"

I'll interview history educator Scott Powell about "Studying History" on the live broadcast of Philosophy in Action Radio on Wednesday evening, 17 July 2013.

Why is knowledge of history important? What aspects of history are particularly worthy of study? How can adults educate themselves about history?

Scott Powell is the creator of Powell History and "A First History for Adults." He is a permanent traveler who teaches a distance learning homeschooling history program called "History At Our House" that provides an integrated curriculum for children from 2nd to 12th grade all over the world. He is currently working on the development of an accessible, integrated history program for professional adults and aspiring intellectuals.

The live broadcast begins at 6 pm PT / 7 MT / 8 CT / 9 ET on Wednesday, 17 July 2013. The podcast will be posted later that evening. For more details, check out the episode page.


Recent Podcasts


The podcasts of last week's radio shows are now available. Check out the full collection of past radio shows in the archives, sorted by date or by topic. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast RSS feed too.

7 July 2013: Q&A on Common Sense, Jealousy, Applying Philosophy, and More

I answered these questions on Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio:

Is 'common sense' a form of rationality? Was Francisco's lack of jealousy in Atlas Shrugged rational or realistic? Can rational philosophic principles solve problems in philosophy and other disciplines? Should the military ban marital infidelity?

You can listen to or download the podcast below, and visit the episode's page for more, including audio files for individual questions.

Recent Blog Posts


Here are last week's posts to Philosophy in Action's blog NoodleFood, ordered from oldest to newest. Don't miss a post: subscribe to NoodleFood's RSS Feed.
If you're interested in more from Philosophy in Action, be sure to like our Facebook Page and subscribe to our Newsletter!

Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedsPhilosophy in Action's Calendar

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Friday, July 12, 2013

The Paleo Rodeo #170

By Diana Hsieh

Welcome to this week's edition of The Paleo Rodeo!

The Paleo Rodeo is a weekly blog carnival featuring the best paleo-related posts by members of the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. The past editions of the Rodeo are collected on this page.

What is "paleo"? As I say in Modern Paleo Principles:

A "paleo" approach to health uses the evolutionary history of homo sapiens, plus the best of modern science, as a broad framework for guiding daily choices about diet, fitness, medicine, and supplementation. The core of paleo is the diet: it eschews grains, sugars, and modern vegetable oils in favor of high-quality meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables.
The purpose of The Paleo Rodeo is to highlight some of the best blogging of the ever-growing paleosphere.

Here is this week's edition:
Kris Gunnars presents Top 10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Coconut Oil posted at Authority Nutrition, saying, "Coconut oil is among the healthiest foods on the planet. Many studies in humans show immense health benefits and therapeutic potential for various diseases."

Hadass Eviatar presents Grow Pecs, Ditch the Bra? (TMI Warning) posted at My Coat of Many Colours, saying, "How primal is it to wear bras? Wouldn't it be great if we could ditch them along with the supportive, padded shoes? Here is some frank talk about that."

Neely Quinn presents Another Inspirational Paleo Success Story posted at Paleo Plan, saying, "Find out what can happen when you go Paleo after menopause. Good things, indeed!"

Nell Stephenson presents Getting Back to Basics…Way Back posted at Paleoista, saying, "Paleo expert Nell Stephenson writes about the importance of keeping Paleo intact by not convoluting it with too many exceptions or permutations."

Eileen Laird presents Paleo AIP Road Trip posted at Phoenix Helix, saying, "I took a road trip on the paleo autoimmune protocol, traveling 2000 miles round-trip, with 7 days of travel, and didn't cheat once. In this article, I show you how to do it."

Eileen Laird presents Flavor Burgers posted at Phoenix Helix, saying, "On the paleo diet, I cook a LOT of burgers, so to keep from getting bored, I like to mix up the flavors a bit. In this article, I give 3 simple flavor variations to treat your tastebuds: Herb, Italian Spice, and Onion/Garlic. Just because we sacrifice the bun, doesn’t mean we sacrifice the flavor!"

Amy Kubal presents 90/10, 80/20, 40/60… What’s Your Paleo Percentage? posted at Robb Wolf, saying, "What the heck do all of these paleo percentages mean and is it really that important?"

Melissa Joulwan presents Herb "Rice" Salad posted at The Clothes Make The Girl, saying, "Cauliflower rice with pappadew peppers, black olives, and tons of fresh herbs – perfect summer salad!"

Meghan Little and Angel Ayala Torres presents Paleo Pulled BBQ Chicken, A Juicy, Picnic or Dinner Entrée posted at Paleo Effect, saying, "This recipe for easy BBQ Pulled Chicken is juicy and tender, but not squishy! The perfect picnic lunch with our sweet gherkins and creamy coleslaw!"

Diane Sanfilippo presents Troubleshooting Your Digestive Issues: Signs and Symptoms of Digestive Upset (part 1) posted at Balanced Bites, saying, "In the first part of this four-part series, I’ll be addressing one of the most common issues I’m asked about every single day – digestive function. This post deals with the signs and symptoms of digestive upset."

Sean presents Carmelized Banana Milkshake posted at FreeRange Human, saying, "Awesome and simple recipe for carmelized banana milkshakes. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, a snack or even dessert."

Victoria Prince presents Gather posted at Principle into Practice, saying, "These days people focus on the 'hunting" part of hunting and gathering, but there's a lot out there to gather, and it makes you more mindful of food seasonality and quantities while getting you outside and moving."

Laura P presents Homemade Yogurt and GAPS Day 1 posted at Rising Moon Food, saying, "Day 1 of my GAPS diet journey involved lots of bone broth and making my yogurt! Here's more info and a how-to on making your own probiotic yogurt!"

J. Stanton presents Protein Matters: Yet More Peer-Reviewed Evidence That There Is No Such Thing As A “Calorie” To Your Body (Part IV) posted at GNOLLS.ORG, saying, "Do high protein diets really let you lose more weight while eating the same number of 'calories"? Read more here!"
Many thanks to the PaleoBloggers who submitted to this edition of the The Paleo Rodeo! We love new members! So if you blog on paleo-related matters and you'd like to submit your posts to the carnival, please subscribe to the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. You'll receive instructions and reminders via that list.

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Saturday, July 06, 2013

Philosophy Weekend: News from Philosophy in Action

By Diana Hsieh

Every Saturday, I post the news of the week from my primary work, Philosophy in Action, where I apply rational principles to the challenges of real life. Here's this week's update.

Upcoming Radio Shows


Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts live over the internet on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. Below are the episodes upcoming this week. I hope that you join us! More upcoming episodes can be found here: Episodes on Tap.

Sunday Morning, 7 July 2013: Q&A on Common Sense, Jealousy, Applying Philosophy, and More

I'll answer these four questions on the live broadcast of Philosophy in Action Radio on Sunday morning, 7 July 2013.
  • Question 1: Common Sense Versus Rationality: Is "common sense" a form of rationality? Wikipedia defines "common sense" as "sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts." Is that a form of rationality? What's the value of such common sense? Should a rational person rely on common sense in moral decision-making?
  • Question 2: Jealousy over Love Lost: Was Francisco's lack of jealousy in Atlas Shrugged rational or realistic? In Part 3, Chapter 5 of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, Francisco tells Dagny, "...No matter what you feel for [John Galt], it will not change what you feel for me, and it won't be treason to either, because it comes from the same root, it's the same payment in answer to the same values..." Is that a rational and realistic response? Given his love for Dagny, shouldn't Francisco (and Hank) have been more disappointed in their loss of Dagny, and perhaps even jealous of John Galt? Is a person wrong to feel bitter disappointment or jealousy over a lost love?
  • Question 3: Applying Philosophy to New Domains: Can rational philosophic principles solve problems in philosophy and other disciplines? Many advocates of Ayn Rand's philosophy hope to see its principles applied to solve philosophy's tough problems, such as the mind-body relation and the validity of induction. Moreover, they hope to apply the philosophy to other disciplines, such as psychology and education, to advance those fields. Is that possible? If so, what might be a fruitful method of approach? What might be some likely pitfalls?
  • Question 4: Marital Infidelity in the Military: Should the military ban marital infidelity? On your 2nd June 2013 radio show, you explained why marital infidelity should not be illegal. I agree with you, but I wonder about other contexts. Might some government groups legitimately ban and even criminalize infidelity for its members? According to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, infidelity is against the law for military members. Might that be proper, particularly given that we have a volunteer army? More generally, might the military want to enforce strict rules of moral conduct on their members, even for seemingly private matters?
The live broadcast begins at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 7 July 2013. The podcast will be posted later that day. For more details, check out the episode page.

Note: Philosophy in Action Radio will not broadcast on Wednesday, 10 July 2013.


Recent Podcasts


The podcasts of last week's radio shows are now available. Check out the full collection of past radio shows in the archives, sorted by date or by topic. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast RSS feed too.

30 June 2013: Q&A on Aristotle, Corrupt Siblings, Studying Philosophy, and More

I answered these questions on Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio:

Is Aristotle's argument for flourishing as the final end valid? How should I respond to my morally corrupt sister? Is studying philosophy in academia a waste? Should Distributed Denial of Service (a.k.a. DDoS) attacks be illegal?

You can listen to or download the podcast below, and visit the episode's page for more, including audio files for individual questions.

2 July 2013: Fran Santagata on "Preparing for Wildfires and Evacuations"

I interviewed Community Preparedness Program Manager Fran Santagata about "Preparing for Wildfires and Evacuations" on Tuesday's Philosophy in Action Radio:

"Colorado is experiencing yet another very destructive – even deadly – fire season. What can people do to prepare for that? How can they mitigate the risk to their property? How can they make sure that people and animals are evacuated safely?" Fran Santagata currently serves as the Community Preparedness Program Manager for the Office of Preparedness for Homeland Security & Emergency Management for the state of Colorado. She responsible for all aspects of community preparedness for the state. Prior to her current position, Santagata served as the Director of Emergency Management for Douglas County, Colorado.

You can listen to or download the podcast below, and visit the episode's page for more.

Recent Blog Posts


Here are last week's posts to Philosophy in Action's blog NoodleFood, ordered from oldest to newest. Don't miss a post: subscribe to NoodleFood's RSS Feed.
If you're interested in more from Philosophy in Action, be sure to like our Facebook Page and subscribe to our Newsletter!

Philosophy in Action's NewsletterPhilosophy in Action's Facebook PagePhilosophy in Action's Twitter StreamPhilosophy in Action's RSS FeedsPhilosophy in Action's Calendar

Read more...

Friday, July 05, 2013

The Paleo Rodeo #169

By Diana Hsieh

Welcome to this week's edition of The Paleo Rodeo!

The Paleo Rodeo is a weekly blog carnival featuring the best paleo-related posts by members of the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. The past editions of the Rodeo are collected on this page.

What is "paleo"? As I say in Modern Paleo Principles:

A "paleo" approach to health uses the evolutionary history of homo sapiens, plus the best of modern science, as a broad framework for guiding daily choices about diet, fitness, medicine, and supplementation. The core of paleo is the diet: it eschews grains, sugars, and modern vegetable oils in favor of high-quality meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables.
The purpose of The Paleo Rodeo is to highlight some of the best blogging of the ever-growing paleosphere.

Here is this week's edition:
Kris Gunnars presents 5 Muscle Nutrients Found Only in Animal Foods posted at Authority Nutrition, saying, "There are many nutrients in animal foods like meat and fish that can not be derived from plant foods. A deficiency can adversely affect muscle mass."

Amy Kubal presents Not So Smooth(ie) Moves posted at Robb Wolf, saying, "How bout' a ice cold smoothie on a hot Summer day? Well, then again - maybe not..."

Neely Quinn presents 10 Step Process for Giving Up The Food You Crave Most (and Why You Would Do Such A Thing) posted at Paleo Plan, saying, "Last week I wrote a post about giving up your “trigger” food, and this week, I wanted to break it down even further with a 10-step process to quit eating the thing you crave most, since this is really not an easy thing to do."

Paul Jaminet presents Pictures from Korea posted at Perfect Health Diet, saying, "Some pictures from our Korean trip: food, scenery, culture."

Nell Stephenson presents Is Bloating A Normal Part of Aging? I Think Not! posted at Paleoista, saying, "Paleo expert Nell Stephenson writes about the silly idea that regular bloating in women 35 and over is normal, and part of 'again' and mostly due to hormones."

Peggy Emch presents Response: What Mother’s Bodies Really Look Like posted at The Primal Parent, saying, "...just because it is perfectly natural to bear blemishes doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to avoid accumulating too many of them – not for aesthetics’ sake but because the more scars we endure, the more we are likely beating ourselves up and disregarding the survival of our species..."

Kevin Geary presents How to Get Lean: The Top Five Essential Fitness Tools posted at The Rebooted Body, saying, "Does this list look a little short? It’s probably because the gym industry has spent billions of dollars insisting that you need dozens of pieces of equipment, their membership, and countless other as-seen-on-tv products to get lean and fit. It’s just not true."

Steve Kirsch presents Me, on a podcast; go check it out! posted at The Paleo Drummer, saying, "Kendall Kendrick had me as a guest on her 'Born Primal" podcast. Great fun was had, and we even hatched an idea: a 30-day meditation challenge; de-stress your brain, by meditating for at least 15 minutes a day, during the month of July!"

Eileen Laird presents Nightshade-Free Survival Guide posted at Phoenix Helix, saying, "You may have heard of the term “deadly nightshade” referring to a plant called belladonna, which was used as a poison in ancient times. Lesser known are the commonly eaten vegetables in the same nightshade family. They aren’t deadly, but they contain enough toxins to cause inflammation in some people, particularly those with autoimmune disease."

Eileen Laird presents Curried Chicken and "Rice" Stew posted at Phoenix Helix, saying, "A hearty and delicious paleo stew, with a nightshade-free curry option for those who need it."

Laura P presents My Favorite Women's Health and Nutrition Books posted at Rising Moon Food, saying, "Here's my list of my top 5 favorite books on women's health and nutrition...what are some of your favorites?"

Meghan Little and Angel Ayala Torres presents Paleo Strawberry Pie, An American Classic Dessert posted at Paleo Effect, saying, "This recipe for Strawberry Pie is fast, easy and absolutely delicious! Its Vegan too!"

Rebekah Reddy presents Simple Summer Squash Sauté posted at Half Indian Cook, saying, "Looking for something delicious and simple to do with an abundance of zucchini (or other summer squash)? This simple sauté is perfect with any meal."

Rebekah Reddy presents Sugar Part 3: How to treat and find peace with sugar addiction posted at The 21-Day Sugar Detox, saying, "In the final installment of a three-part series, Kendall Kendrick explores several ways to treat sugar addiction and find peace with it."

Patrick Clark presents Paleo Sleep Challenge Interview with Patrick Clark posted at Paleo All the Way, saying, "In a 23 minute interview, Paleo Sleep Expert Patrick Clark shares his findings from his life-long quest of the perfect, natural night of rest. Here are some of the highlights from his extreme experiments of sleeping on hard surfaces, including spending two months in a tipi in winter with only self-generated body heat."
Many thanks to the PaleoBloggers who submitted to this edition of the The Paleo Rodeo! We love new members! So if you blog on paleo-related matters and you'd like to submit your posts to the carnival, please subscribe to the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. You'll receive instructions and reminders via that list.

Finally, you can find all of the blogs of the PaleoBloggers on this continuously-updated list:

Alas, with the demise of Google Reader, this list no longer displays. I might move it elsewhere or just omit it in future.

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